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BLITZER: We’re just getting word of a major earthquake in Haiti. 7.3. A 7:00 p.m. Eastern earthquake in Haiti, only about 22 miles west of the capital, Port-au-Prince. We’re watching this story. This was a large earthquake. The damage potential is significant. We’re getting new information and we’ll bring it to you as soon as we get it.

Also, a tsunami warning is in effect in the area. 7.3 — that’s the preliminary magnitude. We’re expecting an update in the next few minutes. Once again, not very far from Port-au-Prince and that very heavy — heavily populated area of Haiti. A very disturbing story. We’ll get more and share it with you.

[ . . . ]

BLITZER: This is a country that’s populated — about nine million people, Deb, live in Haiti. And we’re told most of them, about 60 percent — people from the ages of 15 to 64, a large, very young population. Nearly 40 percent of the people of Haiti are 14 years or younger.

[ . . . ]

RAYMOND JOSEPH, HAITIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.:

BLITZER: I want to point out, Mr. Ambassador, you know this well, Haiti is the most densely populated country in the western hemisphere, one of the most densely populated countries in the world. 9 million people in one third of this island that’s Haiti.  . . . It’s just a very crowded place, Mr. Ambassador. Is that right?

JOSEPH: Not only very crowded, but especially Port-au-Prince, a city that was built for about 50,000 people today house is 2 million. And the government was just in the process of doing some projects outside of Port-au-Prince to try to decentralize the capital.

[ . . . ]

BLITZER: I think you’ve got to do more than that, you’ve got to pray, but you also have to start making sure that the world comes to the aid of Haiti. Haiti is in deep trouble right now. You have 9 million people there, potentially others in the Dominican Republic and in the Caribbean area that are going to be looking for the entire world’s help, especially the United States. I want you to stay with us, Mr. Ambassador, because Chris Lawrence is over at the pentagon. He’s getting new indication on what the U.S. military might be able to do to come to your aid. I want to bring Chris in for a moment. Mr. Ambassador, stick with us.

JOSEPH: Thank you.

BLITZER: Chris, go ahead. CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes Wolf. We’ve been talking to officials here at the Pentagon. They tell us right now the United States doesn’t have any troops stationed there in Haiti. No troops in Haiti, but sometimes the U.S. military will do some joint exercises as part of the United Nations missions there, so they’re checking to make sure if any U.S. troops may be attached to any sort of mission there.

In regards to helping Haiti, we’ve been in touch with southern command, that’s the part of the U.S. military in charge of that part of the world. They say not only have they been alert to do this earthquake, they say they are ready, willing and able to help if need. That request would have to go through the state department, and then to southern command add the U.S. military.

[ . . . ]

BLITZER: All right. Stand by, Chris. The ambassador is still with us. Ambassador Raymond Joseph, are you there with us?

JOSEPH: I am still there.

BLITZER: I assume you know that right now we are being simulcast on CNN and CNN international, so that the entire world is watching CNN right now. This is a moment for you without going through normal diplomatic channels to make your appeal for help. What would you like to tell the state department and other foreign ministries around the world right now?

JOSEPH: Well, what I would like to say is that Haiti has been portrayed all of the time the poorest country in the western hemisphere, and now has been hit by the worst catastrophe, so I’m calling on all friends of Haiti and people who are listening to me to please come to our aid, because Haiti having been the first black republic in the world did help many others in the beginning to gain independence, and even helped the United States by fighting in the war of independence of the United States and by defeating the French in helping the United States get the Louisiana purchase. So, we did help in the beginning. So, today as Haiti is going through the worst day in its history I am calling for all others who got help from us in the beginning to help in support.
(RAYMOND JOSEPH, HAITIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.)


BLITZER: I am sure, Mr. Ambassador, the U.S. government and the Canadian government, governments all over the world and the Mexican government and all of those who are listening to your appeal will come to Haiti’s assistance as quickly as possible.

http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1001/12/sitroom.02.html

THE SITUATION ROOM

Earthquake in Haiti

Aired January 12, 2010 – 17:00   ET

***

JOSEPH: Well, as I said before, this first time I was able to talk to an official of the government. The secretary-general, he was on the street walking. He, himself, was not able to be in contact with any official, not with the president, not with the prime minister. So, right now, I’m in no position to know how they are going to do anything. What I want to do is to get off of this phone now, and be able to try to reach either the chief of police, some of the people that I have phones I have, and see what can be done, and also to get in touch with the state department and ask them to come to our rescue right now.

BLITZER: I think that the State Department is hearing every word, Mr. Ambassador, that you are saying right now, while you are here on CNN. I will let you go hang up the phone, and we will stay in close touch with you, and needless to say, our heart goes out to all of the people of Haiti, and we wish only, only the best under these awful, awful circumstances.

Raymond Joseph is Haiti’s ambassador here in the United States. He has been kind enough to share some information with us. We are going to continue to check back with him. Mr. Ambassador, I am sure that the State Department and other foreign ministries around the world have been listening to your appeals and getting other information as well, and the entire world will be coming back to try to assist Haiti during this awful, awful time. We only know that people are screaming on the streets of Port-au-Prince, and other towns and villages in Haiti right now, and we will continue to follow what is going on.

I want everyone to stand by. Our continuing coverage of the breaking news, an earthquake in Haiti, resumes after this little animation.

Transcript of the Show – during the earthquake and when it was first announced on CNN –

01-12-10 around 5 pmET ( earthquake occurred at 4.53 pm local time Haiti)

http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1001/12/sitroom.02.html

***

http://www.un.org/en/humanitarian/

***

Social, Humanitarian & Cultural

Third Committee

Year after year, the General Assembly allocates to its Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee, commonly referred to as the “Third Committee”, agenda items relating to a range of social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues that affect peoples all over the world.

An important part of the Committee’s work focuses on the examination of human rights questions, including reports of the special procedures of the newly established Human Rights Council.  In October 2009, the Committee will hear and interact with 25 such special rapporteurs, independent experts, and chairpersons of workings groups of the Human Rights Council.

The Committee also discusses the advancement of women, the protection of children, indigenous issues, the treatment of refugees, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and the promotion of the right to self- determination.  The Committee also addresses important social development questions such as issues related to youth, family, ageing, persons with disabilities, crime prevention, criminal justice, and drug control.

At the sixty-third session of the General Assembly, the Third Committee considered 67 draft resolutions, more than half of which were submitted under the human rights agenda item alone.  These included a number of so-called country-specific resolutions on human rights situations.

Under the chairmanship of  H.E. Mr. Normans Penke, the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations, the Third Committee is expected to consider in 2009 a similar number of draft resolutions.

http://www.un.org/ga/third/index.shtml

Third Committee

Secretariat

  • Mr. Moncef Khane (Secretary)
    Tel: 1 (212) 963-2322

    • Assisted by Ms. Nancy Beteta
      Tel: 1 (212) 963-5722
  • Mr. Otto Gustafik (Deputy Secretary)
    Tel: 1 (212) 963-9963

    • Assisted by Ms. Maureen Otto
      Tel: 1(212) 963-7855
  • Ms. Meena Sur (Assistant Secretary)
    Tel: 1 (917) 367-2454

    • Assisted by Ms. Lorna Fidler
      Tel: 1-(212) 963-2319

[15 September 2009 ]

http://www.un.org/ga/third/secretariat.shtml

***

From 01-13-10  (the day after the earthquake toppled Haiti and its people)

UN rushing aid to Haiti following deadly tremors

A survivor is pulled out of the rubble following the deadly Haiti earthquake

13 January 2010 – The United Nations is mobilizing its resources in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti yesterday, sending its experts and supplies to the Caribbean nation, while stressing the urgent need for food, water, search-and-rescue teams and medical help.

The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) reported that the 7.0 magnitude earthquake has caused major damage in the capital, Port-au-Prince, with the National Palace, the Ministry of Justice and other Government offices having been destroyed.

“We are still struggling to learn the full extent of the devastation from yesterday’s earthquake,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told an emergency informal meeting of the General Assembly, accompanied by former United States president Bill Clinton, who serves as UN Special Envoy for Haiti.

“Casualties can not yet be estimated but they are certain to be heavy,” Mr. Ban noted, adding that initial reports suggest that roughly a third of Haiti’s nine million people may be affected.

Mr. Clinton stressed there is a great desire around the world to help the Haitian people and he encouraged people to donate money for the relief effort. “The most important thing individuals can do, who care, is to send cash – even if it’s a dollar, or two dollars.”

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes identified search-and-rescue efforts as an immediate priority in Haiti, one of the world’s poorest countries. “Every hour counts in this kind of situation when people are trapped under rubble and desperately need to be rescued.

A Chinese team has already touched down in Port-au-Prince, with two teams from the US expected later today with heavy equipment and dogs to aid their operation.

**

“The situation on the ground is very difficult,” said Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Susana Malcorra, with heavy equipment desperately needed to detect movement under the debris and to move large pieces of rubble.

MINUSTAH troops have been working since Tuesday night to reach those trapped under the rubble, including their fellow UN colleagues. Some 150 UN staff members – including the top UN envoy in Haiti, Hédi Annabi – remain unaccounted for following the collapse of the Christopher Hotel, which houses the UN’s headquarters, and other buildings used by the world body.

As of Wednesday evening, 16 UN peacekeepers have been confirmed dead – 1 Argentinean, 11 Brazilians, 1 Chadian and 3 Jordanians – but officials believe this number is likely to rise in the coming days.

Mr. Holmes also stressed the need for medical help, as hospitals are overwhelmed. “We expect those needs to increase and are making a major effort in the UN system” to swiftly provide as much help as possible, he emphasized.

The UN has a head-start in the relief operation since it has humanitarian bodies – including the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) – on the ground, he said.

A flash appeal will be launched in the next few days, with $10 million having been released from the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) to jump-start the operation in Haiti today, with the possibility of more funds being made available as the situation requires.

It was also announced today that the UN is pre-positioning an airplane, to be operational by Friday, to shuttle UN and humanitarian agency staff between Miami and Port-au-Prince.

Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of WFP, said that the agency is already deploying its resources in Haiti and is airlifting an additional 86 metric tons of food – enough for half a million emergency meals – from its emergency hub in El Salvador.

Additionally, WFP will provide ready-to-eat food and high-energy biscuits for those who cannot access cooking facilities following the tremors.

“We will work with the Haitian Government, with our humanitarian partners on the ground, and with governments across the world as part of a coordinated international rescue and recovery effort,” Ms. Sheeran said in a statement.

For its part, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) is spearheading the health response to the earthquake. Immediate health priorities include finding survivors pinned under rubble, treating people with major injuries and the provision of clean water and sanitation, the agency noted.

WHO is helping to collect data on the health impact of the earthquake and is also deploying a 12-member team comprising experts in mass casualty management, coordination of emergency health response and the management of dead bodies.

UNICEF, whose offices have been badly damaged, said it will help children continue their schooling and provide safe play areas while their caretakers rebuild their lives.

Meanwhile, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) cautioned that thousands of women at risk from complications and death related to pregnancy and childbirth are in danger due to the earthquake.

Haiti has the highest maternal mortality rates in the region, with 670 deaths per 100,000 live births, and this figure is set to skyrocket due to yesterday’s powerful tremors.

With buildings and infrastructure in Port-au-Prince having suffered extensive damage, “there is no doubt that we are facing a major humanitarian emergency and that a major relief effort will be required,” Mr. Ban told reporters this morning in New York.

Expressing gratitude to nations rushing aid to the earthquake’s victims, he called for the world to “come to Haiti’s aid in this hour of need.”


http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=33471&Cr=haiti&Cr1=

***

[Excerpt from above article – ]

Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of WFP, said that the agency is already deploying its resources in Haiti and is airlifting an additional 86 metric tons of food – enough for half a million emergency meals – from its emergency hub in El Salvador.

Additionally, WFP will provide ready-to-eat food and high-energy biscuits for those who cannot access cooking facilities following the tremors.

My Note –

as of yesterday eight days after the earthquake in Haiti, the World  Food Program official on the news was bragging about having distributed a million meals and 70,000 bottles of water during the eight days to the 6 million people in the area of earthquake devastation in a total Haitian population of 9 million. How is that something even close to the numbers that are needed? The number of meals, protein biscuits and MREs being distributed aren’t even enough to cover the population in even one single day, let alone across the last eight (and now nine) days. There are no coordinated efforts to let people know where staging areas are that distribute food and / or water, no basic medical supplies – and the priorities of the Haitian President, Prime Minister and 18 Cabinet Members seem more intent on genocide than humanitarian relief. But then, maybe if they can just make sure Carnival Cruise ships can continue to dock at Port au Prince – they don’t care if the population survives.

***

Another couple things I found –

On the day of the earthquake in Haiti, there was a UN Assistant Secretary for International Aid or some similar office who appeared on a news broadcast within a short time ( less than two hours after the earthquake 01-12-20), who spoke to one of the news anchors saying that they would not be sending any help until the next day and that they (at the UN – NY) would be assessing the event the next day. The CNN news crews have reported that an Israeli team and a number of other teams from around the world arrived in Haiti, the same evening as the earthquake 01-12-20 and many left for Haiti during that first night. The Ambassador to the US from Haiti asked for help from the UN, from the US and from the State Department on the same day as the earthquake, both live on CNN publicly and by phone to them directly. So why did the USNS Comfort not leave port to go to Haiti until Saturday (four days after the earthquake) and the USS Vinson arrived three days later but with all its helicopters and supplies onboard didn’t airdrop food and medical supplies to the Haitian people until a couple days ago?

***

USS Carl Vinson Arrives in Haiti to Support Humanitarian Operations

Story Number: NNS100115-03 Release Date: 1/15/2010 7:38:00 AM 4 Comments Rate this story!
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Thompson, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

USS CARL VINSON, At sea (NNS) — The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) arrived off the coast of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti Jan. 15 to commence humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

Carl Vinson received orders from U.S. Southern Command to deliver assistance to the Caribbean nation following a 7.3 magnitude earthquake which caused catastrophic damage within the capital city Jan. 12. The aircraft carrier’s speed, flexibility and sustainability make it an ideal platform to carry out relief operations.

“Our initial focus is to concentrate on saving lives while providing first responder support to the people of Haiti. Our assistance here reflects our nation’s compassion and commitment to those impacted by this tragedy,” said Rear. Adm. Ted Branch, commander of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group and the U.S. Navy’s sea-based humanitarian support mission of Haiti.

The carrier arrived on station with a robust airlift capability, picking up extra helicopters while in transit that will prove essential during the mission.

Carl Vinson commanding officer Capt. Bruce H. Lindsey said, “When tasked to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in Haiti, we immediately headed to Mayport, Fla., at more than 30 knots and loaded 19 helicopters, personnel and support equipment from five different East Coast Navy squadrons in less than eight hours. There is no other platform that can do all of that so quickly.”

U.S. Southern Command is well-versed in providing humanitarian assistance to the region. Since 2005, the command has led U.S. military support to 14 major relief missions, including assistance to Haiti in September 2008. During that mission, U.S. military forces airlifted 3.3 million pounds of aid to communities that were devastated by a succession of major storms.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.

The crew of a U.S. Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) unload food and supplies at the airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
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100115-N-4774B-506 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Jan 15, 2010) The crew of a U.S. Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) unload food and supplies at the airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The U.S. military is conducting humanitarian and disaster relief operations after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake caused severe damage near Port-au-Prince on Jan 12, 2010.(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker/Released)
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(From: )

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=50545


“Now, just a little background information here from White House aides, the president found out about the situation in Haiti, was informed at 5:52 p.m. He asked staff members make sure that all embassy staff were OK and to make sure that any humanitarian assistance that needed to go to them would be coordinated. Also top aides saying that the State Department, USAID, and the United States Southern Command began working to assess the situation there, and to figure out whether or not any assistance will be given there.”

– DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT

(during CNN Broadcast on 01-12-20, in the Situation Room / Wolf Blitzer show at 6 pmET – 18:00)

THE SITUATION ROOM

Devastating Earthquake Strikes Haiti

Aired January 12, 2010 – 18:00   ET

http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1001/12/sitroom.03.html

***

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We have had 13 aftershocks above 4.5 just in the past three hours, and seven above 5.

Now, and one of them 5.9. And 5.9 is a big earthquake all by itself. We call it an aftershock because the main shock was 7.0. Otherwise, we’d be calling it an earthquake because it’s the same.

It’s rupturing right along the same fault line as the first earthquake happened, but we call them aftershocks because after the big earthquake moves, then the earth tries to settle itself back down because it’s almost moved too far. And that’s what’s happening now.

Port-au-Prince about 12 miles to the west/southwest where the earthquake was. A densely populated packed area here, two million people. Many of them living on cliff sides literally along the cliffs of the city where the rest of the population and the commercial centers down here in the flats where this big, big area here of topography, especially to the south of the city, is where it really, really ruptured and that’s where the earthquake’s center right was at 7.0.

And, Campbell, the problem is only six miles deep. You get a 200-mile-deep earthquake it kind of muffles itself. Six miles deep, or at six miles shallow, there’s no muffling at all. That earthquake is a jolt, and a 7.0 is a major earthquake. And this is a big time damaging earthquake — Campbell.

http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1001/12/ec.01.html

From –
CAMPBELL BROWN

Earthquake Hits Haiti

Aired January 12, 2010 – 20:00   ET

***

BROWN: Again, that was an eyewitness who was on the scene, obviously.

The State Department working on providing enormous assistance. The Haitian ambassador was on CNN earlier tonight saying that they are going to need a lot of help.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke and talked about what a disaster this is, releasing a statement a short time ago, and saying that they are working to put together a package to help people as quickly as possible.

We want to go now to Mike Godfrey, who is the director of the U.S. Agency for International Development. He lives in a suburb of Port-au-Prince and was at home when the earthquake struck just over three hours ago. When we spoke to him on the phone just a little while ago, he reported the capital city mostly blacked out and appears to have been severely damaged. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIKE GODFREY, U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: It was a very severe jolting. The entire apartment building shook. Things began to come down off the walls.

I ran out into the courtyard and began to cry out to other members of the apartment building to come into the courtyard. The shaking was severe and it went on for what I thought was quite a long time, but I guess it’s about 15, 20 seconds.

It delivered one heck of a jolt. I’m at an apartment building in Petionville, which is above the central city of Port-au-Prince. My view affords me down the mountain a complete view of the city across the entire downtown area and out to the sea.

I wanted to tell you specifically that prior to my making this call that I actually witnessed a takeoff at the international airport. The international airport appears to be functioning. I saw a plane, a large plane, depart at about 6:50 this evening. It may have been the delayed American Airlines. It’s dark. I could only see the lights going up, but it was a significant airplane. So the international airport, I don’t know about damage to the facilities, but the runway, at least, is open and functioning.

I am frustrated trying to find colleagues and staff, because the phone network is not functioning in Port-au-Prince. I see some traffic, limited traffic on a couple of the routes that are visible from my location. I saw a helicopter go up at about 10 minutes after the quake. I thought it was a U.N. helicopter. I could not see because of the lighting. It was a fairly large helicopter, so I’m assuming it was the U.N. that put it up in the air.

I don’t know about the — any emergency efforts. I cannot see that from my locations. What I did see was within about a minute of the quake, a huge pall of dust and smoke rose up over the city, a blanket the completely covered city and obscured it for about 20 minutes until the atmosphere dissipated the dust. It just was an amazing sight to see dust come over that big of a city area.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: You heard there communication problems obviously a huge issue right now, as we’re trying to get more information from Haiti at this hour.

I should tell you that we just got a statement from the White House. The president was told about the quake a little before 6:00 tonight, asking his staff to make sure that embassy personnel are safe, to begin preparations in the event that humanitarian assistance is needed. Obviously, it will be.

The State Department, USAID and the United States Southern Command are working on coordinating an assessment and whatever assistance is needed. We are going to have more on that. Jill Dougherty is over is at the State Department for us and we will be talking to her in just a minute.

First, though, we want to go to Drew Sachs. Here is a former FEMA official who is an expert on disaster preparedness. And Haiti, he works with Clinton Global Initiative and he is joining us right now.

And, Drew, I know you have been working very closely with the Haitian government to plan for a disaster like this. Give us an idea of what, if any, resources they really have to be able to respond.

[ . . . ]

SACHS: Yes, I think that’s exactly what you’re talking about. There is a lot of concrete construction in Haiti. None of it is done with any code in mind. In most cases, if you’re talking about single- story structures, there is no rebar or any support in the structure to protect it from the type of shocks you’re talking about.

And even having seen a lot of the construction there, including buildings under construction over the last six or eight months in Haiti, the construction that is multistory is not being built even close to anything that we in the United States would call seismically- resistant standards.

When I first heard about this earthquake, my first thought was the fact that the vast majority of these structures in unreinforced concrete are probably going to be just crumbling to the ground. And my guess would that once we get some additional intelligence on the ground from in these neighborhoods, that big cloud of dust that was reported in one of your previous caller’s discussions, it’s probably going to be you’re going to find that was buildings, these buildings just falling down and the concrete turning to dust.

– ANDREW SACHS, FORMER FEMA OFFICIAL

BROWN: A short time ago, Secretary Hillary Clinton spoke out about this. She had just left the United States. She was on in Hawaii on her way to a tour of the Pacific. And she made some assurances to the people of Haiti that U.S. help is on the way. Let’s listen to what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I want to just say a few words about developments in Haiti. We are still gathering information about this catastrophic earthquake, the point of impact, its effect on the people of Haiti. The United States is offering our full assistance to Haiti and to others in the region. We will be providing both civilian and military disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, and our prayers are with the people who have suffered, their families and their loved ones.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Jill Dougherty, our foreign affairs correspondent, standing by for us right now at the State Department with the latest.

And I know you just came out of a briefing, Jill. What did they tell you?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

Well, it was by P.J. Crowley, who is a spokesman for the State Department, and he said that they have activated what they call their disaster response plan, also that Secretary Clinton — she is now traveling — she was in Hawaii, as you just said — she had a direct phone call with the DCM, the deputy chief of mission, whose name is David Lindwall, got some basic information from him, and also some personal views of what he had seen.

He was actually returning home after work. He saw significant damage, structures collapsed, people injured and killed. And, in fact, P.J. Crowley was saying that they expect serious loss of life.

Communications are a big problem. The State Department has tried to reach out to the government of Haiti, but they haven’t been able to, at least as of that briefing that we had a short time ago. So, they are trying to continue to get in touch, and that’s one of the real problems, Campbell.

[ . . . ]

And then the other thing is that the communications between here, Washington, the State Department, and the embassy are good, because they have what are called tie lines. But for average who are down, American citizens who are in Haiti right now, trying to get in touch with the embassy, it could be difficult because landlines care down and cell phones are extremely spotty. So, the one thing they’re trying to do now is get in touch with those U.S. citizens and the staff of the embassy.

– JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (in response to – BROWN: Jill Dougherty, our foreign affairs correspondent, standing by for us right now at the State Department with the latest.

And I know you just came out of a briefing, Jill. What did they tell you?)

***

(also during the same show- )

NAN BUZARD, AMERICAN RED CROSS: Well, thanks, Campbell, for having us on.

It took us about 2.5 hours after the earthquake struck this afternoon to get in touch with our staff working in Port-au-Prince. We finally got in touch with them through very difficult means. We had go through VHF radio and then to mobile phones. Our staff are accounted for, which is a great relief for us, but they also describe very, very devastating conditions.

BUZARD: Well, I’m sure that the staff that we have on the ground are already out there working as much as they can with the volunteers of the Haitian Red Cross and the staff of the Haitian Red Cross. Right now, they will be working with search-and-rescue. They will be trying to identify if the staff and the volunteers of the Haitian Red Cross are safe and accounted for and available, and then trying to organize people.

The first 24 hours is going to be primarily search-and-rescue. And that can go on for days more. But following that search-and- rescue period, there is going to be shelters set up, temporary shelters. That’s going to be very difficult just to find physical space in a very dense, urban area where you can safely put groups of people to get them clean water and food and medical attention.

From –

http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1001/12/ec.01.html

***

KING: Thanks, Patrice. Let’s go now to Tamar Hahn. She is a representative of Unicef. What is your title, Tamar?

TAMAR HAHN, UNICEF: I’m the regional communications officer.

KING: And where are you located?

HAHN: I’m in Panama City, Panama.

KING: That’s about how far from Haiti?

HAHN: Yes, and we’ll get —

KING: How far from Haiti?

HAHN: Two hours by plane.

KING: What is — Can Unicef do anything at this early hour?

HAHN: At this early hour, no, because we’re still trying to gather all the information that we need. It’s dark in Haiti. We have suffered substantial damage to our own building, as have many other UN agencies. So right now people are just trying to gather information.

However, we are on the ground. We have been on the ground in Haiti since 1949. And we have prepositioned supplies, which we have ready for the hurricane season, which strikes the Caribbean every year. Luckily, this year was very quiet, as opposed to 2008, which was a devastating hurricane season for Haiti.

But this comes as a big surprise for everybody. And the situation of children and women in Haiti was already one of great vulnerability before the earthquake hit the island, as this is one of the poorest countries on Earth.

Far too many Haitian women and children are engaged in a struggle for their rights, basic necessities like nutrition, clean water, education, and protection from violence. It’s also important to know that Haiti has the second highest population density in the western hemisphere, with four out of ten children living in homes with mud floors, or in severely overcrowded conditions, and with more than five people living in each room.

KING: And that’s Unicef’s number one concern in the world, is children.

HAHN: Absolutely.

KING: What do you immediately do when you can get in there?

HAHN: This first line of action is water and sanitation, because that will prevent the spread of disease. At the same time, you know, we try to tackle it from all different angles, nutrition, obviously, shelter and education. We provide something called school in a box to enable children to go to some sort of semblance of kind of quiet and healthy environment as soon as possible after a disaster. Those are our first lines of action.

KING: Tamar, we’ll be calling on you again. Don’t go away. Congressman Kendrick Meek from Florida has been to Haiti 12 times. His office is getting constant updates. And he joins us now from our Washington bureau. Congressman, what can you tell us? What’s the latest from your perspective?

REP. KENDRICK MEEK (D), FLORIDA: Larry, there is a lot going on on the ground now in Haiti. Unfortunately, we have reports coming in from individuals. My district office received a number of calls. I’ve been in contact with the White House, also with Southern Command, which is the military arm that covers Haiti. It’s had to respond at the recent hurricane.

You have to understand that there are people that are trapped right now. There is a search and rescue effort to the best of the (INAUDIBLE) and the UN that’s on the ground now. They’re trying to help, as well as individual family members. But search and rescue teams must make it to Haiti as soon as possible. Their structures are not as solid as structures in the US. And I know that the crumbling and the dust that individuals have experienced today, we will see that for days to come, because the buildings are so fragile.

KING: What area do you represent in Florida?

MEEK: I represent Miami Dade County, that has Little Haiti in that particular district, the 17th Congressional District, and Broward County. But there are Haitian Americans in New York, Boston, LA, Central Florida, a number of places. So all of them are very, very concerned. I know the State Department has received quite a few calls. The Haitian government is definitely in need, once again, because of the lack of resources that are there already.

But I think it’s very, very important for folks to understand there are a lot of Americans also in Haiti that are carrying out humanitarian work. I know the Southern Baptists have many missions that are there, building and feeding children that are there. So this is a real issue that has a serious connection to the United States of America.

KING: The congressman is going to stay with us. The State Department Operations Center has set up the following number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti. The number is 1-888-407-4747. I’ll repeat it; 1-888-4… for information — there you see it on the screen — about family members in Haiti. The congressman remains. We’ll be right back.

From –

Larry King – the same day as the earthquake, later in the evening –

CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Catastrophic Quake in Haiti; Conan to NBC: ‘I’m Not Moving’

Aired January 12, 2010 – 21:00   ET

http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1001/12/lkl.01.html

***

UN Bodies

Thematic Issues

Other Resources

(From:)

http://www.un.org/en/humanitarian/

***

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/us2010rta7.php#details

Earthquake Details

Magnitude 4.0
Date-Time
Location 18.427°N, 72.822°W
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Region HAITI REGION
Distances 55 km (35 miles) WSW of PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti
100 km (65 miles) E of Les Cayes, Haiti
160 km (100 miles) SSW of Cap-Haitien, Haiti
1110 km (690 miles) SE of Miami, Florida
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 10.2 km (6.3 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST= 10, Nph= 10, Dmin=173.1 km, Rmss=0.88 sec, Gp= 83°,
M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=6
Source
  • USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID us2010rta7

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/us2010rta7.php#maps

USGS – US Geological Survey

U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey

***

My Note –

Also mentioned in the news coverage within the last week, is that there were 10,000 NGOs (non-government organizations) in Haiti before the earthquake, each of whom have been funneling millions upon millions of dollars into the country not including the hundreds of millions given during hurricane relief. There have also been several mentions of the 4.5 Billion plus dollars that have been pouring into Haiti over some fairly short period of time from US and International Economic Development funds. How is it that you can’t see any evidence of it nor any evidence that this money has fixed any of the problems in Haiti?

The population has obviously not been given any suitable education with these monies. They are 80% unemployed so therefore economic development, charitable aid and NGO / UN money has not given any economic opportunity or progress to the people of Haiti despite the billions upon billions of dollars and despite the incredible efforts of a multitude of volunteers (most of whom haven’t been paid to be there.)

What happened to the money and who happened to it?

Before we send some more, we ought to find out.

– cricketdiane, 01-21-20

***

Also – since many supplies of food, water, medical equipment, shelter, tents and medicines were prepositioned in Haiti before this event – why hasn’t every single person been fed, given water, clothed, given adequate medical care and antibiotics / medicines as needed, sheltered and received daily aid of food and water? It isn’t 500,000 meals needed daily. It is 6 – 9 million meals or more needed daily and twice that much water rations or bottled water. How could any of it still be sitting on the tarmac in the hot sun? Can’t they deliver food, water and medicines / medical supplies at the same time? Can’t they mark out a route with available security personnel using a Google map and facilitate along that route branching out from there like a tree of life? Aren’t they able to use bullhorns along the course of the route to tell people where the staging areas will be and at what general times of day, like morning or afternoon? Are cluster f_ck group meetings really more important than distributing the aid that the emergency aid cluster meetings are designed to facilitate? And are the cabinet members of Haiti simply trying to get the cruise ships into Port au Prince to continue getting the per head port fees that line their pockets while diverting resources that would otherwise be delivering humanitarian aid using the available gasoline, trucks, manpower and other scarce resources?

And which hedge funds are ending up with all the donated and allocated monies that are being donated and pledged to Haiti? I just wanna know . . .

– cricketdiane

***

Earthquake Details

Magnitude 7.0
Date-Time
Location 18.457°N, 72.533°W
Depth 13 km (8.1 miles) set by location program
Region HAITI REGION
Distances 25 km (15 miles) WSW of PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti
130 km (80 miles) E of Les Cayes, Haiti
150 km (95 miles) S of Cap-Haitien, Haiti
1125 km (700 miles) SE of Miami, Florida
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 3.4 km (2.1 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=312, Nph=312, Dmin=143.7 km, Rmss=0.93 sec, Gp= 25°,
M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9
Source
  • USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID us2010rja6

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2010/us2010rja6/

***

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